Bring in grey market or risk running out of cannabis, says UBC researcher

published on September 28, 2017 by Amanda Siebert in The Georgia Straight

A UBC research scientist from the Faculty of Medicine says policy makers need to pay attention to the realities of B.C.’s preexisting cannabis industry as they consider the implications of legal cannabis in the province.

M-J Milloy has centered his research on public health issues including HIV/AIDS, addiction, and cannabis use. He told the Straight earlier this week that he was glad to see the government take the necessary step of engaging with the public on the issue.

“I think it’s crucial given that there are thousands of British Columbians involved in the current system as producers or distributors or consumers, so getting their take is important,” Milloy said.

“The problem is that up until now it’s been governed by public security and criminal enterprise, and I think we all agree that has to change.”

He said that creating a public health system and transitioning from the current one would be a challenge for local governments, especially when so much of the federal government’s focus is on completely eliminating the black market.

The trouble, Milloy said, lies in creating a system that will be more appealing to users than what already exists.

“Part of the health-based system is that the government has to figure out a way that’s better at meeting the needs of cannabis consumers than the system we already have,” he said. 

View the full article